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  • ISBN:9780856831829
  • Pages: 320pp
  • Size: 225mm x 145mm

Hardback Price £30.00

  • ISBN: 9780856831812
  • Pages: 320pp
  • Size: 225mm x 145mm

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Hardly a day passes without some comment in the press on the adverse effect of taxation on some sector of the economy. 20 contributors examine the merits of land-value taxation on the basis that it is more efficient – both government and industry would benefit from lower administration costs – and more equitable – both between one industry and another and between rich and poor. Recent headlines include:

‘Small businesses put off hiring staff due to PAYE’

‘Windfall taxes are damaging the economy, businesses warn Osborne’


Includes 4 previously unpublished essays by 1996 Nobel laureate William Vickrey


‘There is a sense in which all taxes are antagonistic to enterprise – yet we need taxes … so the question is, which are the least bad taxes? In my opinion the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land, the Henry George argument of many, many years ago.’ He is not alone in recognising its properties. Prof. Martin Feldstein, a past chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors wrote: “One of the reasons that economists have long been interested in the tax on pure rental income is that it is a tax without excess burden … the tax induces no distortions and therefore no welfare loss.”

 

JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY

This collection of 20 essays examines a number of the unique properties of this particular tax. It is more efficient – both government and industry would benefit from lower administration costs. It is more equitable as between one industry and another and between rich and poor. While freeing enterprise of many vexatious burdens, it could ensure a more environmentally responsible attitude with less red tape.

It is important to appreciate that Land-Value Taxation is not an additional tax, but an alternative method of funding the necessary expenses of modern government. As Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, one time Chief Economist at the World Bank, wrote some years ago:

‘Not only was Henry George correct that a tax on land is non-distortionary, but in an equilibrium society … the tax on land raises just enough revenue to finance the (optimally chosen) level of government expenditure.’